Purpose & Scope
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all staff are aware of the safeguarding responsibilities for all students of Furness College and to identify the importance of creating a whole organisation approach towards safer recruitment and safeguarding. This should be underpinned by an ethos of well being, safety and security, which applies to all learners and all staff.
Safeguarding is a term used to denote the duties and responsibilities that those providing a health, social or education service have to carry out/perform to protect individuals from harm. Specifically, the HM Gov (2013) has stated that the objective of safeguarding, in relation to children, is to provide a safe environment to learn in and to identify those suffering or likely to suffer significant harm; it is then to take appropriate action to ensure that these children are kept safe both at home and in the education setting. To do this it must include safer staff recruitment and should include safeguarding policies and an overarching strategic purpose to create/maintain a safe and secure environment.
The College fully implements the new Disclosure and Barring Service established in 2012 following the publication of the Working Together to safeguard Children 2013, Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act in 2006 and the DfES Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education publication in 2007 and Safer Practice, Safer Learning (2007). The College is fully committed to creating a ‘safer’ learning environment that promotes well-being and security, for all learners and all staff. The College has a ‘whole organisational’ and ‘inclusive’ approach to safeguarding vulnerable adults and young people. This is reflected in the values of the College and includes all staff and learners. To ensure this strategy is met all staff will be vetted in line with legislation. A staff training structure is in place commencing at staff induction.
Any young person under the age of 18 is considered, in the eyes of the law, as a child and is protected by the child protection laws and guidance (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013). As a provider of 14-19 and post-16 education the College has a responsibility to ensure the safety of children, young people and those adults deemed ‘vulnerable’. A vulnerable adult is defined as a person ‘who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation’ (Department of Health, 2000).
Incidents of abuse are not common BUT any young person aged up to18 or any vulnerable adult, must be considered as vulnerable to abuse whether this is in the home, in school or college, in the work place or in some other place.
To be responsible for safeguarding we need to deal with any of the following:
• Abuse (Physical, sexual, emotional, financial)
• Bullying & Harassment
• Cyber bullying
• Addictions, eg. Gambling
• Health issues, eating disorders, etc
• Mental Health
• Legal and illegal substance abuse
• Dangerous environments
• Forced marriage
• Child sex exploitation
• Female genital mutilation
• Domestic violence
It is important that young people and vulnerable adults are protected from any form of harm. As such all complaints, allegations or suspicions must be taken seriously. The following procedure must be followed whenever an allegation is made that a young person or vulnerable adult has been abused or when there is a suspicion that they have been abused.
The Role of the Governing Body
The Chair of Governors and the governing body is committed to ensuring that the College:
• has a named Safeguarding Governor
• raises awareness of issues relating to safeguarding and promoting the
welfare of young people and vulnerable adults in the College;
• provides a safe environment in which young people and vulnerable adults learn;
• identifies young people and vulnerable adults who are suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm and takes appropriate action to see that such young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe at the College;
• has procedures for reporting and dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff and volunteers;
• operates safe recruitment procedures;
• designates a member of staff with sufficient authority to take lead responsibility for safeguarding and is trained to an appropriate level;
• ensures all staff are trained to a level appropriate to their role;
• remedies any deficiencies in or weaknesses in regard to safeguarding arrangements that are brought to the Governing Body’s attention;
• The Governing Body will approve and annually review College policies and procedures.
The governing body is responsible for:
- ensuring that the College has procedures and policies which are consistent with the Local Safeguarding Children Board’s (LSCB) procedures and Safer Practice, Safer Learning(Adult procedures)
- ensuring that the Governing Body considers the College Policy on Safeguarding each year
- ensuring that each year the Governing Body is informed of how the College and its staff have complied with the Policy including, but not limited to, a report on the training that staff have undertaken.
- for overseeing the liaison with external agencies such as the police and/or social services in connection with allegations against the Principal or the Senior Designated Manager. This will not involve undertaking any form of investigation, but will ensure good communication between the parties and provide information to assist enquiries.
The Senior Designated Manager
The Senior Designated Manager shall be the Senior College Manager who is designated with the overall responsibility for safeguarding. The Senior Designated Manager is responsible for the management of the college’s overall policy and procedures that relate to safeguarding issues. The Senior Designated Manager will have received training in child protection and safeguarding issues and inter-agency working, as required by the LSCB, and will receive refresher training at least every 2/3 years. The Senior Designated Manager will keep up to date with developments in child protection and safeguarding issues. More specifically he/she has the responsibility for liaising with the Governing Body, Children’s Social Services, the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, the Police, the Adult Services (for cases relating to vulnerable adults) and other agencies to refer individual cases of suspected or identified abuse, neglect or such allegations. The responsibilities of this role are;
- Acting as the key contact person within the college;
- Reporting to the Senior Staff on matters relating to Safeguarding Young People and Vulnerable Adults;
- Being responsible for co-ordinating action within the College on safeguarding issues;
- Where appropriate, liaising with staff to share information, but only on a “need to know basis”, to protect rights of young people and vulnerable adults to confidentiality;
- Overseeing the planning of any curricular or other provision – e.g. ensuring an effective approach to dealing with bullying;
- Representing the College at child protection meetings;
- Raising awareness about safeguarding and ensure all staff are familiar with the Policy and Procedures and receive appropriate training in safeguarding issues;
- Providing advice and support to other staff on issues relating to safeguarding;
- Maintaining a proper record of any safeguarding referral, complaint or concern (even where that concern does not lead to a referral);
- Ensuring that parents of young people and vulnerable adults within the College are aware of the college’s safeguarding policy;
- Liaising with agencies as appropriate;
- Liaising with schools which send pupils to the college to ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for the pupils;
- Where an inter-agency child protection plan is in place, ensuring the College is involved in, if necessary, the preparation of the plan and ensuring the College’s role is clearly defined. This will include any involvement with the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (MARAC).
Nominated Staff Members
To act as the key contact(s) within the College in the absence of the Designated Senior Manager
To support the Designated Senior Manager in:-
- Ensuring that there are effective arrangements for liaising with employers
- and training organisations that receive young people or vulnerable adults from the college on placements to ensure that appropriate safeguards are put in place;
- Ensuring that staff receive basic training in safeguarding issues and are aware of the college safeguarding procedures;
- Reporting to them on matters relating to Safeguarding Young People and Vulnerable Adults;
- Providing first-line advice to staff and students on safeguarding matters;
- Knowing how to make an appropriate referral and then to liaising with child protection officers in local authorities to seek advice on how best to deal with a specific case;
- Dealing with individual cases, including attending case conferences and review meetings as appropriate;
- Liaising with the Designated Senior Manager to agree and implement actions relating to individual safeguarding cases
The roles and responsibilities of all staff
Everyone in the college must be aware that any young person or vulnerable adult may be the victim of abuse or may be at risk of abuse. The Principal and all staff working with children and young people will receive training adequate to familiarise them with safeguarding issues and responsibilities and the college policy and procedures, with refresher training at least every three years. Consequently all staff members must be familiar with these procedures. It is the responsibility of all members of staff to act immediately if they become aware of an actual case of abuse/neglect or become suspicious that there
may be a risk of abuse/neglect. They must record this information on the appropriate form giving the details outlined on the back of the form.
3. RAISING AWARENESS OF THE SAFEGUARDING PROCEDURES:
It is important that all members of the college recognise the role they play in safeguarding the well-being of young people and vulnerable adults. Safeguarding must be a topic covered within the induction of every member of the college community whether they are students, staff or employers used by the college for work experience or work based learning purposes. The wearing of lanyards for both staff and students is compulsory and all staff must challenge anyone on the College campus who is not wearing a lanyard.
Students: It is the aim of the College to provide an environment in which students feel safe and secure and therefore develop the confidence to bring to the notice of staff any concerns they may have, secure in the knowledge that the matter will be dealt with in a confidential and sensitive manner.
Within the Induction Programme all students must be made aware of the following:
- What constitutes abuse
- The reporting procedures for self-referral or reporting suspected abuse of a friend or colleague when in college, at work/work experience, on residential or outside college
- To whom the referral should be made
- The responsibility each student has for another
Staff: Within the Staff Induction Programme employees must be made aware of the following:
- What constitutes abuse
- The reporting procedures if a referral of suspected abuse is made by a student or third party, including whilst in work/work experience, residential or outside of college
- The key college personnel to whom the report should be made
- The responsibility of members of staff under the Safeguarding Procedures
- The Code of Conduct to ensure members of staff do not place themselves in a position of risk either advertently or inadvertently, with respect to Safeguarding
Employers: Any employer working with a student must be made aware of the college’s policy and procedures for Safeguarding and the employer must:
- Identify a key employee who will act as the main contact for the student on experience or work based learning for the purposes of safeguarding;
- Give that key employee information on the College’s Safeguarding Procedures
- Identify who their key point of contact is within college for any referrals or suspected abuse
4. DEALING WITH DISCLOSURE OF ABUSE AND PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING CONCERNS
Promises of confidentiality must not be given as the matter may develop in such a way that these promises cannot be honoured. If the complainant is the young person, questions should be kept to the minimum necessary to understand what is being alleged and leading questions should be avoided. The use of leading questions can cause problems for the subsequent investigation and any court proceedings. A full record shall be made as soon as possible of the nature of the allegation on the referral forms which can be found on the staff intranet and VITAL and any other relevant information must also be included:
- the date
- the time
- the place where the alleged abuse happened
- your name and the names of others present
- the name of the complainant and, where different, the name of the young person who has allegedly been abused
- the nature of the alleged abuse
- a description of any injuries observed
- an account of the allegation that should be signed and dated by the person completing the report
Note: Some young persons or adults with learning disabilities may need different treatment to other students e.g. in the way their physical/mental condition might mask possible abuse.
Any suspicion, allegation or incident of abuse must be reported to one of the nominated members of staff (or the Principal in their absence) as soon as possible and at least within two hours. The Designated senior member of staff shall telephone and report all allegations and incidents of abuse to the Cumbria County Council, Children Services Triage Team (03332401727), before the end of the college day. A written record of the date and time of the report shall be made.
The nominated member of staff should discuss with the social services department what action will be taken to inform the parents of the young person and a note of that conversation should be made. Adult Social Services should be informed in the case of a vulnerable adult and the same process recorded. The nominated member of staff must notify the Principal of any allegation or incident as soon as is practicable and in any event within 24 hours of the initial concern arising.
All above guidelines are relevant for all learners within the college but with particular reference to adults the following is also important
The following points are taken from Cumbria Adult Guidelines for Safeguarding and should be included as the guidelines for an FE Safeguarding Policy with respect to preventing the abuse and mistreatment of vulnerable adults
- Promote increased awareness and recognition of the issues surrounding the abuse and mistreatment of vulnerable adults.
- All staff working within the college have a responsibility to protect vulnerable adults from harm whenever they are in a position to do so
- Ensure that when abuse/mistreatment is suspected, appropriate action is taken to safeguard vulnerable adults from further harm and exploitation.
- Ensure that allegations about abuse/mistreatment are investigated thoroughly, efficiently and consistently.
- Respect the rights of all people to live their chosen lifestyle with privacy, dignity, independence, choice and fulfilment
- Risk assessments are carried out on vulnerable groups and individuals as necessary. This is particularly important when any work placement is undertaken. Employers undertake a commitment to support the college’s safeguarding procedures with particular reference to vulnerable adults.
- Information on Social Workers, Advocates etc are held by the course/personal tutor and will be contacted in the event of any worries or disclosures. Disclosures from vulnerable adults will be treated sympathetically as with any disclosure.
- The definition of vulnerable adult may change to fit any adult within the college who is in need of support or at risk of any form of abuse.
14-16 School Pupils
If school pupils attend the college, the procedure for any disclosures or suspicions of abuse must be referred to the Designated Senior Manager immediately (in his/her absence-School Liaison Co-ordinator should be informed). It is the Designated Manager’s responsibility to contact a senior member of staff from the relevant school and report the incident. The school will then take responsibility for dealing with this incident in the appropriate way.
Child Protection Register
When a student already on the Child Protection Register enters the College, the Designated Senior Manager will receive all necessary information from the previous education establishment or Social Services. This information will be shared with the appropriate Personal Tutor and Curriculum Manager by the Designated Senior Manager. The Designated Senior Manager and Personal Tutor must be particularly vigilant with regard to the well-being of these students. A risk assessment must be carried out by the Health, safety and Wellbeing Manager.
Monitoring and Review
The safeguarding policy and procedure will be reviewed annually. The policy will be agreed and ratified before publication by the College Governing Body. This document draws on information contained within all up to date and related legislation on safeguarding of young people and vulnerable adults and the college will refer to these documents for enhanced information in areas of concern or lack of clarity.